4 Reasons It Is A Bad Idea To Represent Yourself In Court For A Criminal Case

Posted on: 6 May 2018

If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you should take the matter very seriously. While you have the right to represent yourself in court, it is not a good idea in a criminal case. One of the best things you can do after being charged with a serious crime is to hire an experienced and reputable criminal defense attorney. Some of the reasons it is a bad idea to represent yourself in court for a criminal case include the following.

1. Lack of Legal Knowledge

Most people do not have in-depth knowledge of legal terminology and court procedures. There is a good reason that attorneys need years of schooling before they are able to practice law. If you try to represent yourself in court for a criminal case, there is a good chance that you will be very unfamiliar with the terms being used and you may not understand the proper procedures to follow when you're in the courtroom.

2. Inability to Build a Case

One of the skills a criminal defense attorney possesses is the ability to examine all of the evidence involved in a case and then build a solid defense for a client. Building a defense for a case is not something that is easy to do, and most people who are not attorneys don't even know where to start. If you try to build a defense for yourself without the assistance of an attorney, there is a high likelihood that you will not be successful.

3. Going Head to Head with a Prosecutor

In serious criminal cases, going to court involves more than just being seen before a judge. The state will have a prosecutor who is highly trained and has built a case against you. Without an experienced criminal defense attorney, the chances of being acquitted are very low since prosecutors are very experienced in presenting cases against people arrested and charged with a crime.

4. Submitting Proper Paperwork

A criminal case can require a mountain of paperwork, and all paperwork and documentation must be submitted according to strict deadlines. If you have no legal experience, you most likely won't know what paperwork is required or how to produce the needed paperwork. Failure to submit paperwork and documentation can cause major problems and hurt your case. When there is something as serious as jail time or serious long-term consequences for a criminal conviction, it is in your best bet to hire a reputable criminal defense attorney.